recently asked her Ocean View girls, “Did anyone
ever read you bedtime stories as a child?”
She heard a resounding, “No!”
teenagers sat as little girls and listened to Julie read
the best bed-time story in the world.
As she read from the Storybook Bible, they leaned in
closer to see the pictures of Jesus born in a manger,
choosing his disciple and healing a very sick little girl..
Our highlight will be next week - when Julie reads about
how Jesus washed his disciples feet and then she will
do a footvwashing for them.
The Storybook Bible is the best children's Bible! I cry
almost every time I read it. A great present and a must
have for your children.
wonder why African teams have never gotten to the semi-finals
of the World Cup (and why few Africans play for the world's
top soccer leagues)?
Since Karl has been coaching soccer here in Africa, he's
noticed that the problem of "age cheats" (as
it's called here) is a very real...something he sees on
a weekly basis.
It's quite common to play in tournaments or even league
games against kids visibly older (and much bigger and
faster) than the kids playing on our team (our kids are
actually honest about their age).
We've even seen kids playing soccer that are
4 years too old for their age group!
The parents here seem to encourage these “age
cheats,” and birth certificates are falsified by
the families. Soccer clubs have an extremely difficult
time verifying accurate ages.
My good friend and fellow coach Casey Prince (founder
of Ubuntu Soccer) recently said..."A vast number
of kids in the black communities and clubs are playing
out of their true age group. For example we had two kids
come to trial this year that were supposed to be 12 years
old. Turns out they were 14. They are playing against
younger kids and thus not improving as fast as they can.
But because they look good they are picked for the better
coaching environments, which means you have less talented
kids getting the better coaching."
Why is this such a big problem?
That cycle repeats itself, so by the time those kids
are older, they haven't developed enough to compete with
their global peers (who have played in the correct age
groups and received age appropriate competition and training).
They have been busy playing younger kids and have not
had to push themselves– so by the time they are
19 years old when age no longer matters, their soccer
skills are severely behind.
Julie is coordinating “Motherhood is Beautiful”
weekly classes, designed to support and educate pregnant
moms and mothers of newborns.
- Parenting tips
- Child discipline ideas
- Blessing your children
Mom and Baby Health
- Feeding your baby
- Health topics
- Meet other moms
Prayer and Counselling
- Bring your child and learn how to play with them
- Toys for age-appropriate development
PHOTO Here is one of our amazing Baby Safe partners
(a Living Hope volunteer) holding up topics for her Motherhood
is Beautiful Class! She is a registered nurse running
the “Mom and Baby Health” session
Adi is a child of ACTION!
• Climbing up a full flight of stairs,
• Crawling in clothes washers,
• Scrounging around for old, dried food nubbins
on the floor (to pop them into her mouth before I can
yank them away.
She is on the MOVE! We’ve got lots of big laughter
and loud tears with this one!
a video of her birthday...
Meeting with my Ocean View girls - I was looking for a
way to explain how much we owe God (how big our debt is
I said, "Here is a great way to know how much you
owe God...I am going to list these rules and I want you
to think about all the times and ways you’ve broken
single time you have broken one of these rules (in thought,
word or deed), you owe a debt to God...
- You shall have no other gods before
- You shall not make for yourself an
image in the form of anything in heaven above or on
the earth beneath or in the waters below.
- You shall not misuse the name of the
Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless
who misuses his name.
- Remember the Sabbath day by keeping
it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your
work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord
your God. On it you shall not do any work...
- Honor your father and your mother,
so that you may live long in the land the Lord your
God is giving you.
- You shall not murder.
- You shall not commit adultery.
- You shall not steal.
- You shall not give false testimony
against your neighbor.
- You shall not covet your neighbor’s
house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife,
or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or
anything that belongs to your neighbor.
the price of breaking God's rules is ultimately death
- someone needs to pay that price. It should be us! This
is why Jesus died for us - he was paying the debt we owe
God. What do you think about this?"
I went on to say..."Every person in the world is
on one of these steps...where are you?"
1. Don't Care - you really could care
less about God
2. Care - you are mildly interested
3. Skuldig - you deeply care and feel
very convicted or convicted about all the wrong things
you have done (my girls told me this is the Afrikaans
word for this)
4. Turn Around - you are ready to
make a change and start walking in a whole new direction
(stop being the boss of your life and ask Jesus to be
5. God Child - you are a child of
God (you are following Jesus and want to obey him)
Karl's story - Recently at a practice I noticed one of
my players has been wearing a glove for the last week.
It's been hot here at it looked unusual.
I asked another player..."Why is he wearing a glove?"
He replied that his teammate had purposely cut off his
I was shocked and said..."Are you serious?"
Xhosa tradition to cut off a finger to
protect them from evil spirits
said it's a cultural thing in his tribe. When the boys
reach a certain age (14 years) the elders bring them in,
blindfold them, put their hand on a table and chop their
finger off with a huge knife! It means he is now a man.
I was stunned!
This player has been in our academy for almost 3 years.
I had assumed that by experiencing God's love, mentorship
from men who love them, a quality education and life skills...that
our boys would be convinced to put away harmful cultural
Knowledge doesn’t change behavoir. I am reminded
that it’s my job to pray and God’s job to
change hearts and minds.
Photo: Nadine loves Adi - Jody made this
amazing wrap - Richalene helps Jensen with homework
As you know...my precious teen-age girls come to my house
every week and a make dinner together (they chooses the
menu, we buy the stuff and they do the cooking).
After dinner, we sit down and go through a "Fresh
Start" workbook. The girls choose a past hurt
or offense they want to process – with the last
step being forgiveness.
Forgiveness is the key to being free from shame and despair.
Sometimes it seems like a ridiculous response to the incredible
horror some of these girls have been through.
To explain forgiveness I told them this story...
was in a girl in Ocean View, a friend of mine, who borrowed
R1000 from me (that's about $120 - a pile of money around
here). She tried to find ways to pay it back...but in
the end came to me and BEGGED me to forgive the debt.
So I did. I told her it was taken care of, she didn't
need to pay it back.
"Sho!" They said.
Then I heard there was a girl who borrowed
R100 from my friend (that's around $12). She begged
my friend to forgive the debt- but she would not. In
fact, my friend turned her in to the police, proved
the money was owed her and had her thrown into Pollsmoor
Prison (a nearby maximum security prison).
"Sho! Sho!!" They said.
Can you guess how I felt when I heard
that? I was pretty mad after all I had done!
This is what it's like with God. He forgives
us the R1000 we owe him - but we don't want to forgive
others the R100 they owe us.
I was amazed that at the end of the Fresh Start process,
three out of four of the girls chose to forgive very hurtful
past events. God is healing their hearts!